Calhoun, Angels come back to beat Twins, 7-6 in 10
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Los Angeles Angels can win a lot of different ways. That’s how a team builds the best record in the majors.
This time, Kole Calhoun and Mike Trout carried the load at the top of the lineup.
Calhoun had three hits and four runs, sliding into home for the go-ahead score in the 10th inning to give the Angels a 7-6 victory Friday over the Minnesota Twins.
The Angels had two stolen bases, two sacrifice bunts and enough clutch hits to overcome 14 runners left on base.
“When we get down the stretch, it’s going to come down to little things like that that are going to win you ballgames,” Calhoun said.
Calhoun singled to start the 10th, and Jared Burton (2-4) walked two in a row with one out to load the bases. Oswaldo Arcia caught Erick Aybar’s sacrifice fly and made a strong throw from right field, but it was a bit off line and not in time for catcher Josmil Pinto to pivot and tag the speedy Calhoun.
Huston Street (1-1 with the Angels) blew the save for the second time in 13 tries since his acquisition in the trade with San Diego, putting the first two batters on in the ninth inning before surrendering a two-out, two-run, game-tying double to Trevor Plouffe.
Calhoun smacked a two-run, go-ahead double off Brian Duensing in the eighth, when the Twins used four of their nine pitchers.
“He missed over the plate,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said, “and the guy whacked it.”
Mike Trout followed with a double, giving him 100 RBIs for the first time in his extraordinary three-year career. He’s the youngest Angels player ever to reach the mark.
“It just means we’re winning games, so that’s all that matters to me,” Trout said, acknowledging: “It’s a pretty cool accomplishment.”
Matt Shoemaker lasted only four innings after winning each of his last four starts and saw his scoreless streak end at 23 2-3 innings on a sacrifice fly by Kennys Vargas. The right-hander’s run landed as the second-longest by an Angels rookie, behind Bob Lee (27) in 1964.
“These guys picked me up a ton today,” Shoemaker said.
The American League Pitcher and Rookie of the Month for August, Shoemaker stumbled in his first September start. He needed 90 pitches to finish those four innings and surrendered a leadoff home run to Arcia in the second, the first long ball off the dark-bearded rookie in four starts. Shoemaker allowed six hits and three runs.
Aaron Hicks hit RBI singles after doubles by Pinto in the fourth and sixth innings, but the Angels stretched their lead to six games over the A’s, who lost at Houston.
Ricky Nolasco made another unremarkable start for the Twins, allowing eight hits and three runs (two earned) over five innings. Chris Iannetta hit an RBI single for the Angels. So did Trout after second baseman Brian Dozier’s leaping catch nearly ended the fourth, but the ball rolled out of his glove onto the grass for a 3-2 lead for the Angels.
After the Angels missed the playoffs for the fourth straight year, their worst record in a decade at 78-84, the jobs of manager Mike Scioscia and general manager Jerry DiPoto appeared tenuous. But DiPoto told Los Angeles reporters before the game an option on his contract has been exercised by the club, assuring his return for a fourth season. The two sides have had their disagreements, but Scioscia was complimentary Friday of DiPoto and the front office.
“They didn’t leave any stone unturned when they were looking for talent, and when they could find talent to make us better they certainly acted on it,” he said.
Angels LF Josh Hamilton, given a rest for his sore right shoulder after receiving a shot of cortisone in the joint the night before, was feeling better and expected in the lineup for the rest of the weekend.
Twins LF Jordan Schafer bruised his ribs in a collision with the wall while making a highlight-reel, stretched-out catch to end the ninth.
Converted reliever Cory Rasmus starts Saturday for the Angels after he pitched three scoreless innings in his first career start last weekend, filling the spot vacated in the rotation by the injury to Garrett Richards.
Twins ace Phil Hughes seeks his AL-leading 16th victory, still with a chance to win 20 games in his first season with the team. He’d need a victory in each of his remaining scheduled starts to do so. The last 20-game winner for the Twins was Johan Santana in 2004.